DOWNTOWN Santa Monica resident David Wright is single and proud of it.
And the 65-year-old entrepreneur wants all singles to share his pride and take no shame in checking the “single” box.
Wright is the founder of Singular Magazine, a locally-based journal that caters to the growing unmarried community in the Los Angeles area, a demographic that was previously untouched in the world of publications.
The magazine seeks to eliminate the social stigma against single Americans that the only way to live happily is with a life-long companion, promoting the unmarried lifestyle as one that can be just as fulfilling.
Approximately half of households across the nation are now headed by unmarried adults, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That figure is slightly higher in California and Los Angeles, where approximately 52 percent and 55 percent of households are headed by single adults, Wright said.
The inaugural issue was shipped earlier this month to 70,000 singles between the ages of 30-55 who live within a 14-mile radius of Santa Monica. All recipients of the first issue earn more than $100,000 a year for a combined spending power of more than $15 billion. The readers make up the upper 20-21 percent in income level, which is an attractive market for advertisers, Wright said.
“In a lot of cases like myself, we are the sole decision maker in the household,” Wright said. “If I want to travel to the Virgin Islands, I don’t have to get approval or consensus.
“Singles do have different buying habits than most married couples.”
The magazine was born out of an idea to form an event company for people who are single. Wright first approached Kim Calvert — a freelance journalist whom he had commissioned for several jobs over the years — about the event company two years ago. Calvert, who had just gotten a print journalism degree, had little interest in the job until Wright mentioned that the events could be publicized through a magazine.
“I heard the word magazine and my ears perked up,” she said.
It was then when Calvert had her own epiphany about being single, realizing that if she wanted to get married, she would’ve done so by then.
“I just looked at other single friends and saw how they were leading these great lives, very fulfilling lives,” she said. “One thing I did notice among all my friends is they felt they shouldn’t be single.
“I thought, ‘why are we thinking this?’”
The company slowly evolved from a concept of being a small publication listing events to a big glossy magazine. The company has also since launched Singularcity.com, a social networking arm of the magazine. Each issue includes a four-page calendar section.
In addition to events listings in the L.A. area, the bi-monthly journal includes articles about living the single life. The premiere issue features a cover article — “Myth of the Perfect Catch” — written by Edward Lewine, a contributor to Details and The New York Times.
Wright said he plans to slowly expand the magazine from the Westside and central Los Angeles to the entire county, perhaps branching out to Orange County in a few years. He has no intentions to go national at this point.
“We like the idea of unmarried adults in L.A. where the singles have relatively recently been the majority of adult households,” he said.
Wright, who has lived in Santa Monica for about seven years, called the singles scene in the city “dismal.”
“Right now it’s limited to the Meetup group,” Wright said, referring to the networking Web site. “We’re going to change that.”
Calvert said the idea of the magazine is to celebrate independence, whether being single is temporary or life-long.
“It’s not that we’re against marriage,” Calvert, who serves as the editor, said. “It’s that we’re saying that single is also a viable choice.”